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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

COVID-19 Surges Among Unvaccinated in Florida, Contrary to Baseless Claims

COVID-19 Surges Among Unvaccinated in Florida, Contrary to Baseless Claims

Florida health officials have reported a 60% rise in COVID-19 cases, and hospitals are reporting that 95% of COVID-19 patients are not fully vaccinated. But a Facebook post makes the baseless claims that Florida’s numbers are not going up, and that all COVID-19 patients recently admitted to a Palm Beach County hospital had been vaccinated.

Baseless Conspiracy Theory Follows Deaths of Haitian President, Other National Leaders

Baseless Conspiracy Theory Follows Deaths of Haitian President, Other National Leaders

Following the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, social media posts baselessly suggest that he and other world leaders were killed or died because they opposed COVID-19 vaccination in their countries. All the leaders named in the posts, except Moïse, died of natural causes. At least one supported vaccination.  

Capitol Police Expected to Testify During House Committee’s Probe of Jan. 6 Riot

Capitol Police Expected to Testify During House Committee’s Probe of Jan. 6 Riot

Members of the Capitol Police will be among the first to testify during the House select committee investigation into the Jan. 6 riot, according to Rep. Bennie Thompson, who will lead the panel. But social media posts have made the unfounded claim that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “won’t let Capitol Police testify about what happened Jan. 6.”

Unsubstantiated Claims Follow Deaths of British and Indian Airline Pilots

Unsubstantiated Claims Follow Deaths of British and Indian Airline Pilots

Following the deaths of four British Airways pilots and five Air India pilots, social media posts claimed without proof that the pilots died as a result of receiving COVID-19 vaccines. Air India said its pilots died from COVID-19. British Airways said “there is no truth whatsoever in the claims on social media speculating that the four deaths are linked.”

Airlines Are Encouraging, Not Banning, Vaccinated Passengers

Airlines Are Encouraging, Not Banning, Vaccinated Passengers

Airlines are encouraging people who have received a COVID-19 vaccine to fly once again. Yet social media posts falsely claim that airline executives around the world are discussing banning vaccinated passengers due to a risk of blood clotting at high altitudes. Experts say there is no evidence of an added risk of blood clots for vaccinated air travelers.

Posts Falsely Tie Evangelical Leader to Cannabis Product

Posts Falsely Tie Evangelical Leader to Cannabis Product

A viral Facebook post, which links to a webpage that misrepresents itself as a Fox News report, pushes the false story that evangelical Christian leader Charles Stanley sells CBD, a cannabis product. Stanley’s organization said the story is a “scam.”

Viral Quote About Elections Misattributed to Trey Gowdy

Viral Quote About Elections Misattributed to Trey Gowdy

A viral Facebook post falsely attributes claims of widespread voter fraud and “treasonous acts” during the 2020 election to former Rep. Trey Gowdy. But he told us the statement “wasn’t from me.” We tracked the comments to a retired general who has spread unfounded conspiracy theories.

Posts Distort Testimony of Federal Health Officials on Employee Vaccinations

Posts Distort Testimony of Federal Health Officials on Employee Vaccinations

Federal health officials testified at a Senate committee hearing that about 60% of their employees have been vaccinated against COVID-19 so far. But viral online posts have distorted their comments to misleadingly claim that half of the employees “are refusing” the vaccines. The officials did not say anyone had refused to get vaccinated.

Myth of Ballot Watermarks Flushed Out Again  

Myth of Ballot Watermarks Flushed Out Again   

An audit of ballots and a forensic audit of voting equipment earlier this year found no problems in the 2020 elections in Maricopa County, Arizona. But debunked claims about voter fraud revealed by secret “watermarks” are flowing again on social media amid a Republican-led audit. County officials say no watermarks were used on the ballots.

Bogus Claims Follow Donation of Kamala Harris’ Children’s Book

Bogus Claims Follow Donation of Kamala Harris’ Children’s Book

A single copy of Vice President Kamala Harris’ children’s book was one of many titles donated to a shelter for immigrant children in Long Beach, California. But a debunked New York Post article – which led to the reporter’s resignation — incorrectly claimed every child was given a copy of her book, starting a deluge of false claims in social media posts.